The novel technologies in all areas of agriculture have improved agricultural production, but some modern practices affect the environment. The recent challenge faced by advanced farming is to achieve higher yields in environment-friendly manner. Thus, there is an immediate need to find eco-friendly solutions such as wider application of biocontrol agents. Among various types of species being used as biocontrol agents, including fungi and bacteria, fungal genus Trichoderma produces different kinds of enzymes which play a major role in biocontrol activity like degradation of cell wall, tolerance to biotic or abiotic stresses, hyphal growth etc. The understanding of filamentous fungi belonging to the genus Trichoderma has continuously evolved since last two decades, from the simple concepts of biocontrol agents to their recently established role as symbionts with different beneficial effects to the plants. Recent findings from structural and functional genomics approaches suggest the additional use of these microbes as model to study mechanisms involved in multiple player interactions that is, microbes-microbes-plant-environment. In this work, historical development of Trichoderma spp., mode of action against different biological agents, potential applications and recent mass production techniques are summarized and discussed in detail with updated advances with their application in the agriculture and sustainable environment.
Key words: Biocontrol agent, mycoparasitism, induced resistance, endophyte, mass production, bioremediation, bioreactors, agrochemicals
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